These Healthy Chili & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are so delicious that they’re bound to become a family favorite! Make the filling ahead of time for easy prep. Thank you to Kroger for helping me to share this recipe with you.
I have been waiting for this day for WEEKS! It’s finally time to kick off our third annual healthy living challenge. Along with my friend, Liz of The Lemon Bowl, we’re excited to introduce our shiny new challenge, 28 Days to a Healthier New You!
Before I reveal this week’s challenge, I want to encourage you to pop over to Facebook to join the challenge Facebook group, which is already 1100+ strong. And don’t forget to follow the hashtag #28DaysNewYou (and post your own successes and challenges) on Instagram.
Liz and I both know that the road to healthy living can be a bumpy one, and we want to give you as many tips and tools as we can to help you reach your goals. 28 days is only four short weeks, but a lot of healthy habits can be formed in that time. Each week we’ll be introducing a new challenge, along with healthy eating and exercise ideas.
Now on to the first challenge…
So…what’s the goal for week 1?
This week’s challenge is…Cook at Home More Often
Your first questions might be, “Why should I cook at home?” and “How do I make it easier?”
Why should I cook at home?
It goes without saying that cooking at home is a heck of a lot cheaper than eating out. To be honest, unless it’s a really good restaurant serving something that I wouldn’t typically make at home, I find I get more quality for my buck in my own kitchen.
Cost aside, there are some health-inspired reasons to pull out your own pots and pans, and dig into your fridge once dinnertime rolls around.
Restaurant portions are notoriously oversized. I encourage you to become familiar with appropriate portion sizes so you can serve up the appropriate amounts. Even the healthiest whole grains can turn into an excessive meal when you consume portions that are too large. See Portion Control Tips & Tricks for Healthy Living.
Unless you’re dining at a restaurant that is dedicated to healthy cooking, it’s almost impossible to know how the food is made. If you eat out just once in awhile, that’s not such a big deal. But if the majority of your meals appear after ordering from a menu, it’s harder to control what you’re putting into your body. Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients. Think amount and types of oils, freshness and quality of vegetables, whole grains vs. white grains. You get to make the call when you’re the chef!
For quality ingredients, I often turn to Kroger’s Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products. Meat (such as the grass-fed organic ground beef in this recipe), seafood, dairy, canned goods, vegetables, whole grains, tea – you name it, they have it! Just look for the Simple Truth products on shelves throughout your local store that carries Kroger products. And a bonus – they’re usually cheaper than comparable products at other stores.
How do I make it easier?
In our house, I am much more likely to turn to takeout if 5 o’clock rolls around and I don’t have a plan. Peace of mind comes from knowing exactly what I’ll be making and that I have everything in the fridge and pantry to whip up a quick, healthy meal. Take a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday to plan the week’s menu, then make a shopping list so you can minimize your trips to the store.
Whether you’re making and freezing quinoa, prepping veggies for the week or poaching extra chicken to use in salads, pasta dishes and soup, a little prep goes a very long way. While it takes a bit of time to prep your ingredients once or twice per week, you’ll save a boatload of time during the week.
Choose easy recipes:
If I felt the pressure to make something fancy whenever I cooked, I would head straight to a restaurant 9 out of 10 times. Good, healthy cooking doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, some of my favorites are 30-minute meals, one-pot recipes and slow cooker dinner ideas. Start with ingredients and methods that you’re comfortable with, then gradually start to branch out as you feel more comfortable in the kitchen.
Be sure to check out Liz’s tips for cooking at home and her Lemon Garlic Shrimp (I’ll be making this very soon!)
Let’s move on to the recipe…
Healthy Chili & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
These chili and quinoa stuffed peppers follow the same method as my Greek Stuffed Peppers, but include all of the flavors of your favorite bowl of chili.
Ground beef (I used the Simple Truth grass-fed lean ground beef, which is 90% lean) is sautéed with onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder, and simmered with crushed tomatoes
- ¾ lb. Simple Truth Organic grass-fed lean ground beef
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- ¾ cup black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa (see How to Freeze Quinoa)
- 3 tbsp minced flat leaf parsley
- 3 red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds & membranes removed
- ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper, and cook until the ground beef is browned, crumbling with a spoon.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Stir in the onions and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and black beans, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the cooked quinoa and parsley.
- Place the peppers, cut side up, in a large baking dish. Divide the ground beef mixture evenly between the peppers. Pour ½ cup water in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Cover tightly with foil and cook until the peppers are tender, about 35 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the peppers. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kroger as part of the 28 Days to a Healthier New You Challenge. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!